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Feasibility analysis of translocating western pearlshell mussels into the Cherry Creek Native Trout Project Reach on the Flying D Ranch in Montana

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Feasibility analysis of translocating western pearlshell mussels into the Cherry Creek Native Trout Project Reach on the Flying D Ranch in Montana


Published 2013
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Cover title

"April 2013"

Includes bibliographical references

The western pearlshell mussel (WEPE), Margaritifera falcata has experienced significant range reductions across Montana in the last 100 years and is now known from 88 populations, of which, only 20 are expected to be viable 100 years from now (Stagliano 2010). Many of these remaining populations are also at risk of extirpation due to stochastic events capable of wiping out these isolated small populations, and from lack of reproduction with non-native salmonid host species. Cherry Creek below the natural canyon barrier on the Flying D Ranch is one such stream that currently has a non-viable population (D-rank, Stagliano unpublished data 2010), and closer to the confluence with the Madison River, mussels remain sparse and non-viable (Stagliano 2008, unpublished data). The declining status of the WEPE has led to its designation as a Tier 1 Species of Conservation Need (SGCN) by MT Fish Wildlife and Parks (2006), a Species of Concern by the State of Montana (MTNHP 2008) and a Sensitive Species by the U.S. Forest Service Northern Region 1 (2011, S. Spaulding pers. comm.). The best approach to conserving aquatic species is to ensure that habitats are managed in ways that maintain healthy ecosystems and allow the full complement of native species to flourish. Turner Enterprises has come a long way to achieve this goal on the Flying D Ranch with the restoration of Cherry Creek to a native westslope cutthroat trout stream. To fully succeed in the goal of harboring all native aquatic species, the western pearlshell mussel, found naturally below the natural barrier but prefers the westslope cutthroat trout as its native host fish, needs to be included in the Cherry Creek restoration plan


Volume 2013
Publisher [Helena, Montana] : Montana Natural Heritage Program
Year 2013
Pages 13
Language English
Book contributor Montana State Library
Contributor usage rights See terms
Collection MontanaStateLibrary

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